Babylon 5 Season 1, Episode 8: The War Prayer  » TV  »
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  • While it worked in both instances, I don't think the show should rely on it in order to develop every character
  • The tense moments are alleviated somewhat with Londo's subplot, that involves a young couple fleeing to the station to avoid their arranged marriages because they love each other
  • It gave a lot of the major characters time to shine and while I found the allegory a bit eye roll worthy, I guess you can commend it for its social commentary


    • by David Finniss

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      Various members of non-human races are being violently attacked. One of Delenn’s close friends is stabbed and branded, and things only get worse from there. Naturally, the ambassadors to races like the Narn and Ninbari are not pleased with this development and demand justice.

      It’s revealed to be the work of a group called the Earth Guard, a radical pro-human sect that wants nothing to do with any alien form of life. It makes for a great plot and, while there are no major battles in space, this does seem to be one of the bigger episodes in terms of scope. The fact that everything Babylon 5 stands for is in peril as a result of fear and paranoia makes the stakes quite large, while still keeping the story more focused on the characters.

      I’m not sure how many times


      they can use the “crew member’s old flame shows up on the station” plot. It worked well enough here with Ivanova, but it was pretty similar to Sinclair’s set up. They even say that Ivanova’s commitment to the job was what did them in. While it worked in both instances, I don’t think the show should rely on it in order to develop every character.

      The tense moments are alleviated somewhat with Londo’s subplot, that involves a young couple fleeing to the station to avoid their arranged marriages because they love each other. It was odd to see Londo take a more jaded turn after we saw how he acts when he finds someone special, but it did make for good comedy. Having him refer to his three ex-wives as three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse ...


      • was sheer gold.

        There was a nice mention of the events of the pilot. Not only do characters who haven’t been seen since get mentioned, but it also lays groundwork for future plot developments as Sinclair becomes suspicious about how the two people who had any real contact with Ambassador Kosh were quickly sent away. The means by which he was poisoned is also called into question. While I was OK with bygones being bygones, it’s nice to see that things that happen can still have repercussions down the line.

        While the plot itself did a great job of building tension and conflict, the villains themselves were two dimensional. I guess it’s hard to write well rounded bigots, but their dialogue didn’t feel natural and they were heavy handed with their presentation. They don’t really show up until the

        end, preferring to remain cloaked as it were, but it was still a pretty weak element in the script.

        If the Commander was going to act all xenophobic, you’d think he’d let other ambassadors like Delenn know what he was doing. Knowing how adamant she was about stopping the men, she probably would’ve been happy to play along. They could even let her alien compatriot know so that no one’s feelings were actually hurt in the process. I guess he wanted their reactions to seem sincere or something, I don’t know.

        There were a couple of weak elements in the story, but all in all, this was a good episode. It gave a lot of the major characters time to shine and while I found the allegory a bit eye roll worthy, I guess you can commend it for its “social commentary”.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in May, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 106051475450331/k2311a056/5.6.11
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